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8 Office Etiquette Tips For Young Workers

(Photo source: Corbis Images; royalty free, creative image)

Young workers are known for their energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn, but many times their lack of experience and professionalism comes back to bite them when they want a raise, promotion, or just to be taken seriously. If you’re a young worker and you want to stand out from the other baby-faced rookies in the office, check out these eight etiquette tips:

  1. Save social networking for home.

    There’s a time and a place to get on Facebook and tweet about your day, but it’s not at your work desk. Sure, everyone needs a mental break here and there, but signing on to social networks may not be the best way to clear your mind and stay on track at work. Even if your company does not restrict use of these sites, you shouldn’t abuse this privilege by signing on every hour or Facebook-ing when you should be working.

  2. Refrain from gossiping.

    If you’re trying to make a good impression on your boss and co-workers and develop meaningful, trusting relationships with them, then steer clear of office gossip. Getting caught up in petty gossip makes you look unprofessional and two-faced. Even if everyone is gossiping around you and it seems like you’re in good company, take the high road and walk away from gossipers or change the subject altogether.

  3. Never, ever talk about salary.

    Salary is a taboo topic that shouldn’t be discussed with anyone but your supervisor. Even if you work for the most laid-back company, it’s never really appropriate to talk about or compare salary wages with your co-workers. If you have questions or concerns about your salary, bring it to your boss and work it out in private.

  4. Act professional.

    Young workers have a tendency to let their professionalism slide when their boss isn’t around or when their guard is down during happy hours or company-sponsored parties, for example. It’s important to be professional at work, work functions, and, well, just about any time you’re representing your company. This even includes cyber professionalism. Never, ever Facebook or tweet negative things about work or anyone from work if you want to keep your job.

  5. Don’t abuse your privileges.

    If you work at a place that does not require you to punch in your hours, provides free parking, or allows casual Fridays, then consider yourself lucky. Many companies do not give their employees such perks because they’ve been abused one too many times. Don’t ruin it for everyone by taking two-hour lunches or running personal errands every day during work.

  6. Mind your manners.

    Minding your manners at work goes beyond saying please and thank you, it also includes giving your undivided attention during meetings, answering e-mails promptly, showing appreciation to those who help you, and respecting others’ time. Also, don’t forget to clean up after yourself and ask before taking things from work, including pens and other supplies that belongs to your company.

  7. Come early, stay late.

    Young workers have a lot to prove, but one of the quickest ways to earn respect and present yourself as a reliable, hardworking employee is to come early to work and stay late. Punctuality is very important, but coming early to work shows even more that you care and it may earn you credit when it comes to getting honorable assignments and perhaps being considered for a raise or promotion.

  8. Look neat and clean.

    The days of rolling out of bed and throwing on a wrinkled T-shirt and jeans to face the day are long gone. You’re in the real world now, and that means you have to dress for success. Whether or not your workplace has enforced a dress code, you should always strive to smell clean and look tidy. Get familiar with the iron, find a good dry cleaner, and for goodness sake, take out that tongue ring!


This article was first posted on E-Advisor Blog.

This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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